In 2014 Beds & Bars Celebrated 50-years in the Hospitality Industry
Before It All Began
- 1958 - Ron Knowles starts out with an Off License in Battersea, South London
- 1960 - Ron Knowles takes over the management of his first pub, The Prince of Wales in Holland Park, West London.
The Birth of Beds and Bars - The 1960s
- 1964 - Ron Knowles began to work for himself after taking on his first tenancy at the Queen of England pub on Goldhawk Road, West London. Ron Knowles went on to run the Greyhound in Luton under the Whitbred Tenancy, which he cofounded.
- 1966 - The Royal Oak, a Truman's pub on Glenthorne Road in Hammersmith, joined the group. This pub became famous as the career launch pad of comedian Paul O'Grady and DJs Norman Scott, and Jerry Collins.
- 1966 - The White Lion, a Watneys lease was added to the group.
The 1970s and 1980s
- 1976 -The White Lion was renamed The Dickens and the Tenancy became R.C. Knowles and Sons.
- 1982 - The Hercules Pillars, a Watneys lease on Great Queen Street, became the latest pub to join the business.
- 1982 - Ron Knowles retired and nominated his son Keith Knowles to run the company.
- 1989 - The Stag in Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire joined R.C. Knowles and Sons. This would be the company's head office for the next 20-years.
- 1989 - Interpub is Formed
- 1989 - With the company growing R.C. Knowles and Sons became Interpub.
The 1990s - The Birth of St Christopher's Inns and Belushi's Bars
- 1994 - The company's first Belushi's bar opened in Covent Garden, Central London.
- 1995 - The Grapes Inn at 121 Borough High Street was purchased and converted into a hostel with a traditional English pub downstairs. A bed cost £10 a night with no hidden costs and St Christopher's Inns came into being.
- 1997 - To meet growing demand, 59-61 Borough High Street was also acquired and converted into a hostel with a coffee shop.
- 1999 - As the company continued to expand, hostels and bars were opened in Greenwich and Camden. 161-165 Borough High Street was also added to the portfolio and would become The Village - the largest hostel operated by Beds and Bars in the UK.
Into the Twenty First Century
- 2000 - The St Christopher's Inns hostel and Belushi's bar opened in Shepherd's Bush, West London.
- 2001 - The first St Christopher's Inns hostel and Belushi's bar outside of London, opened in Edinburgh.
- 2002 - St Christopher's Inns, Newquay opened with a cliff top Belushi's bar, overlooking Towan beach.
- 2003 - St Christopher's Inns, Bath opens, with a Belushi's bar downstairs.
- 2003 - St Christopher's Inns, Brighton and a Belushi's bar opened on the seafront, overlooking the famous Brighton Pier.
- 2005 - St Christopher's at the Bauhaus opened in Bruges, offering backpackers hostel rooms, budget hotel accommodation, private apartments, a bar and a restaurant.
- 2005 - St Christopher's at the Winston opened in Amsterdam, offering 50 themed art rooms, a hostel, bar and nightclub.
- 2006 - St Christopher's Inns, Berlin is established with a Belushi's bar and apartment complex.
- 2008 - The Flying Pig hostels in Amsterdam join the company, adding two world renowned hostels, and bars to the chain.
- 2008 - St Christopher's Inns, Paris opened on the Bassin de la Villette. Built from the ground up and designed by architects Chaix et Morel, the site became the benchmark for 21st Century backpacker hostels, around the world.
Interpub becomes Beds and Bars
- 2009 - Interpub was rebranded as Beds and Bars to reflect the two core businesses, St Christopher's Inns and Belushi's Bars, with one parent company.
- 2009 - Franca Knowles was awarded an MBE by HM the Queen for services to skills training in the hospitality industry and to charity.
- 2009 - St Christopher's Inns and a Belushi's bar opened in Prague.
- 2011 - La Rotonde bar and brasserie was launched in Paris.
- 2012 - St Christopher's Inns and Belushi's bars opened in Barcelona, at the top of Las Ramblas.
- 2012 - After years of investment and development, Beds and Bars launched an independent, online, accommodation booking engine.
- 2013 - St Christopher's Inns, Gare du Nord opened in Paris. This is the largest hostel to date with close to 600 beds, an atrium Belushi's bar and a basement entertainment space.
- 2013 - St Christopher's Inns became the first hostel chain in the world to successfully develop and launch an online check in service for guest.
- 2014 - The Flying Pigs in Amsterdam celebrated their 20th birthday!
- 2015 - We launched the St Christopher’s Inns App. Guests can now make bookings with us via the app available on iPhone.
- 2016 - We kickstarted a brand development journey for Belushi’s with the aim to innovate our product throughout Europe. With the help of ‘We Are Spectacular’, a London-based brand development company, we began a 5 year process to transform the face of Belushi’s. In April, we carried out our first extensive refurbishment at Belushi's Bar in Shepherd's Bush based on the new brand manual.
- 2016 - We also refurbished St Christopher's Inns in Shepherd’s Bush.
- 2016 - We launched the St Christopher’s Inns Android App. Guests can now make bookings with us via the app available on all Android devices.
- 2017 - In September, refurbishments were completed at our flagship hostel St Christopher's At the Village in London Bridge where we introduced London's first Capsule beds and renovated the entire bar with our new sports venue 'The Dugout' in the basement. We also added 200 new beds in the hostel. The £7 refurbishment steered the hostel to become award-winning backpacker accommodation in the British Youth Travel Awards 2017 and 2019.
- 2017 - Refurbishments took place at our hostel and bar in Bath to steer the Belushi's brand into the future. We wanted to keep in-line with the brand redesign updates that were taking place at the bars in London.
- 2017 - We launched the No Deposit / Free cancellation model on our St Christopher’s website, allowing customers to make a booking online and pay the full price on arrival at the hostel. This, combined with Free Cancellation, gives our customers more flexibility to change their travel plans on the go.
- 2018 - Belushi's Bar in Greenwich received a full makeover equipped with HD TV screens and a top of the range audio system for enhanced sports viewing, alongside our innovative new brand design.
- 2018 - Our Newquay Bar and Hostel was refurbished in 2018 where we upgraded our outdoor terrace and restaurant-area, including new beach huts on the terrace!
- 2018 - Belushi's Camden was given a full revamp in 2018 after a £400k investment. We introduced HD TVs and a HD projector for sport fans, as well as private booths within our Cavern area, available for groups to hire out. With Instagrammable features and a focus on late-night entertainment, the upgraded site went on to win Best Late Night Bar in the Dusk Till Dawn awards 2019.
- 2018 - We added the ability to make a booking in up to 7 different languages to our online booking engine.
- 2018/2019 - We refurbished Belushi's at The Winston in Amsterdam with a brand new restaurant. This space is an extension to the main bar that offers table service and our signature rock n' roll vibe, doubling our bar capacity with a real focus on food.
- 2019 - Three brand new websites went live to promote our three traditional London-based pubs; The Hercules Pillars, The Flying Horse, and the original St Christopher’s Inn.
- 2019 - We took over a former 'Baxpax' Hostel in Berlin Mitte in 2019 and transformed it into a St Christopher's Inns with our trademark Belushi's backpacker bar downstairs. This is now our second hostel and bar in Berlin, just a few minutes walk from Museum Island.
- 2019 - Hammersmith Belushi's sees a major upgrade after a £450k investment. Our new and improved branch on Hammersmith Broadway has undergone a transformational refurbishment with premium technology and audio with 20 HD Tvs and London's first pull-out stadium seating.
- 2019 - We relaunched our main St Christopher’s Inns travel website. There was a key focus on selling the travel experience. A new technology used for this was Stackla, which allows us to display lots of user generated content (UGC) across the site, showcasing photography taken by our customers while visiting our hostels and destinations.
- 2019 - We opened our second hostel in Edinburgh, our first major purpose-built site with AC rooms! Known as St Christopher's Inns Edinburgh Old Town, this brand new build is located just across the road from our original hostel on Market Street. We also moved Belushi's across the road flaunting a fresh new look - and we replaced the former Belushi's with a big, modern reception area.
2014 to 2064 - Where To Next?